PALMA – At the beginning of this week, Palma de Mallorca will briefly become the tourist capital of Europe. That is why more than a thousand demonstrators responded to the call of more than thirty social and ecological organisations.
Under the slogan “Menys turismo, més vida”, Less tourism, more life, they advocate a decrease in tourism and an increase in the quality of life for the local population. This is happening at the same time as the European Tourism Forum. An event which brings together the political elite in tourism and the EU Ministers of Tourism. The central theme should be hopeful for the demonstrators because it focuses on sustainability in the sector.
Need for better quality of life for residents
The demonstrators demand reduced tourism and emphasise the need for a better quality of life for the island’s residents. “We ask to be heard and say that we want less tourism and more life. Less tourism means more well-being, no access problems to housing, no changes in urban planning or identity of our cities, and no pollution. We want a responsible model that takes into account the impact on the territory and the local population,” said Pere Joan Femenía, spokesperson for the ‘contra cumbre’, in a statement to Diario de Mallorca.
“18 million tourists a year is absurd”
“Receiving 18 million tourists per year on a small island like Mallorca is absurd. It is essential to limit and control, because here only the big financial capital enriches itself. And what remains for the citizens is an overload of people and deteriorated services such as healthcare, cleaning, and water consumption,” added Maribel Alcázar, president of the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Palma.
Tourism model needs to be overhauled
The protests aim to redefine the island’s tourism model, increasingly calling into question the boundary between profitability and quality of life. Mass tourism is seen as a threat to the sustainability and well-being of the islanders.